Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

what if you never own your own home/apartment?

..do you consider yourself a failure?
Permalink Jacky 
March 21st, 2005
There *is* a small percentage of people for whom it doesn't make sense to own their own residence. They usually change jobs every year, moving to different cities frequently.

The other 97% of the population should own their residence because of the tax & credit advantages.

Plus, it's all yours, and you can do with it what you wish. Paint the walls bright blue and install red carpeting? I'd like to see the landlord that allowed that!
Permalink example 
March 21st, 2005
No, but my wife does. :(
Permalink Kyralessa 
March 21st, 2005
I've lost at least $10k on every house I owned in the last 20 years.
Permalink Peter 
March 21st, 2005
Beware. There is serious talk about ending the mortgage tax write-off.
Permalink Brad Wilson 
March 21st, 2005
Of course you fool.Read my books.
Permalink Robert T. Kiyosaki 
March 21st, 2005
"Beware. There is serious talk about ending the mortgage tax write-off."

Talk is cheap. :-)
Permalink Ian Boys 
March 21st, 2005
Funny, I lost at least $10k on every apartment I've owned in the past year.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 21st, 2005
Well I bought my first house about 7 years ago and sold it for £5k profit, the next one we sold for a £54k profit and if the estate agent is to be believed we can expect a £140k profit on this one after 2 years. The market has been a wee bit bouyant locally.

I don't think I want to rent again.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
March 22nd, 2005
Nor would you want to be a first time buyer again.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 22nd, 2005
"Nor would you want to be a first time buyer again."

Actually, the entire buoyant market thing is a sham: if you buy a house, sell it after two years for a profit, and buy a better one, you are STILL paying money out of pocket for the better house. In fact the price difference between a slightly worse and slightly better house is only getting bigger.

So the first-time buyers are screwed, and the rest aren't actually getting any profit, unless they move into a trailer park.
Permalink Flasher T 
March 22nd, 2005
The Economist recently printed several articles demonstrating that it is currently a far better deal to rent than own in most markets...currently anyway.

Just make sure you invest the money you save.
Permalink Name withheld out of cowardice 
March 22nd, 2005
I had a 2 bedroom apartment in Iowa City, IA, USA. When I moved out, the rent was getting increased from $660 US to $680 US. It was approximately 750 sq. feet.

I moved to West Des Moines, IA, USA (about 1.5 hours west), and I bought a 3 bedroom house, about 1,300 sq. feet. My monthly payments are $680 a month.

So, there would have been no "savings" for me to continue in an apartment. The only thing I would get screwed on would be if I moved in the first 1.5-2 years or so. It's been 1.5 :) I don't know what it's like in bigger cities though. I've looked at rent in NYC and it was mind-boggling. I imagine that getting a house in Manhattan is theoretically possible (are there even houses there? Anywhere?), but perhaps only if you're a multi-millionaire.

I've also heard it's common for people in San Diego, San Francisco, etc. not to have bought their first house until they are in mid 30's - 40's, because of the price. So, to each their own, I guess.
Permalink Pseudo Masochist 
March 22nd, 2005
I'll speak from experience. I live in San Diego, have a great job, the wife has a great job, and I don't plan on buying anytime soon. I can either live in a nice apartment decently close to work and be able to afford fun things like vacations or I can buy a small/shitty house an hour away from work for more money than I pay in rent and not be able to afford a thing. I think I'll be renting!
Permalink Jared M. 
March 22nd, 2005
Psuedo--
Monthly payments aren't the only thing, though cash flow can be important.

It's like people who say "my SUV gets great gas milage, I only have to fill the tank every 400 miles, in my car it was every 300 miles". Mind you, the car had an 8 gallon tank and the SUV a 20 gallon tank....
Permalink mb 
March 22nd, 2005
Damn right about not wanting to be a first time buyer again and Flasher also has it (half) right about buying the bigger house. As near as we've got to a plan since Friday (the relevant date) is to take the profit while it's still there, flog the house and move somewhere slightly smaller in a town about 8 miles away. With luck I could end up owning a house with no mortagage before I'm 40.

Which is nice...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
March 22nd, 2005
No, I don't consider myself a failure for not owning.

In addition to the aforementioned Economist article, there's a story in today's WSJ that illustrates how the relationship between purchase prices and rental rates has gotten badly skewed in a number of big metro areas over the past few years.

Here in Seattle, for instance, they calculate the cost of owning a house at just about 2x the cost of renting -- and that's *before* considering property taxes, maintenance, and other costs of homeownership. It's also before itemized deductions, but since WA has no state income tax, the benefit of that is substantially less significant than it would be elsewhere. Plus there are all the fees associated with the transaction itself (including a 1.8% excise tax when you sell).

I was looking at houses last year and when I actually ran realistic numbers -- including property taxes, maintenance allowances, and so on -- through an Excel spreadsheet, I couldn't come up with a financially compelling reason to buy here unless I made seemingly absurd assumptions about appreciation rates. (Continued rapid appreciation seems unlikely given heady appreciation over the past few years, deviation from historical purchase/rent averages, and the likeliness that interest rates will continue to rise and dampen buyer enthusiasm.) The emotional intangibles of buying don't excite me all that much, so I just don't see how it all makes sense in my case. I'm putting money into other investments instead.
Permalink John C. 
March 22nd, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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